May 26, 1991 |
Looking to buy a home in the near future? Then take a serious look at your credit. "The mortgage lender is going to pull credit reports on you and those reports are going to weigh very heavily. These days, especially, you're going to have to answer for any credit screw-ups or difficulties," says Keith Gumbinger, of HSH Associates, a mortgage research company. Mortgage experts like Gumbinger say that it is smart to order copies of your credit reports at least a month before you seek a mortgage.
January 8, 2012 |
Dear Liz: I have an adjustable-rate mortgage that is currently at 3.125%. I'd like to fix the rate, but no one will even discuss it with me because my house has been appraised at less than $100,000 and the balance of the mortgage is $144,319. I have never been late, and my credit scores are above 800. What can I do? I don't want a mortgage modification. I just want a fixed rate. Answer: If your loan was backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and if it was originated before June 1, 2009, you may be in luck, thanks to recent improvements to the federal government's Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP.
January 27, 2013 |
Dear Liz: I paid all of my old collection accounts except for two, which now are beyond the statute of limitations. I would like to find the best way to negotiate with the collection agencies without getting sued. Even though the original delinquency was over four years ago, the agencies are reporting these every month as current debt, which is really hurting my credit score. My intent is to offer a lump-sum settlement amount if they will remove the report from my credit file with the bureaus, or alternately in return for a "paid" notation on my report file.
December 14, 1994 |
In the next few weeks, after the gifts have been opened, the tree taken down and party decorations packed away, some less cheery reminders of Christmas will linger as holiday bills arrive. Free spenders may find themselves unable to handle their mounting debts. But financial experts warn that falling behind with payments can be expensive and jeopardize future borrowing plans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 1990 |
U.S. Secret Service agents have uncovered a fraud ring that was funneling sensitive credit information out of the TRW Credit Data Division, one of the nation's largest credit bureaus, authorities said Friday. The investigation, conducted with the aid of TRW security personnel, is nearly complete, The Times has learned. Several sealed indictments have been obtained, according to the Secret Service, which investigates credit card fraud.
October 4, 1998 |
Home buyers are no longer being penalized for searching long and hard for the best mortgage rate and terms. Now, thanks to a group of lenders who worked to persuade the three credit bureaus to change their method of rating mortgage applicants, you can scout around for the best deals until you are satisfied you can't do any better. "This is huge," says Ginny Ferguson, a Pleasanton, Calif., mortgage professional who led the assault as chairman of the National Assn.
July 10, 2011 |
The higher your credit scores, the better shot you have of getting a loan or credit card application approved. Improving your credit scores takes time, but it can be done. Start by getting free copies of your three major credit reports at the government-authorized site annualcreditreport.com. 1. Check your reports for accuracy. Financial columnist Liz Weston, author of "Your Credit Score," says to look for credit cards or other accounts that aren't yours, negative entries that are more than seven years old, duplicate past-due items and incorrect Social Security number or date of birth.
June 13, 1999 |
When you've made your monthly home mortgage payment on time for years, you naturally assume that you've built up a good credit history. That credit report or history, in turn, can be crucial in helping you borrow money elsewhere, get a job or even get insurance. Yet large numbers of American homeowners are the unsuspecting victims of a little-known but growing trend among certain lenders: Their payment histories are being kept secret, never reported to any credit bureau.
October 2, 2011 |
Dear Liz: I'm 27 and have been working hard for the last few years to bring up my FICO credit score. I've paid off all my credit card debt and disputed errors on my credit report. I'd like to purchase a home in the next few years and am trying to get my score over 700 (I am currently at 615). I have three credit cards that I regularly use and pay off. Do you have any suggestions on how I can continue to bring up my credit score? Should I take out a personal loan? Should I apply for another credit card?
April 6, 2008 |
Dear Liz: I think I'm being pursued illegally for a debt I don't owe. I visited a hospital in June 2007. It took my health insurer about six months to process the claim. Shortly after I received my benefits statement from the insurer, I received a call from a collection agency saying I had to call back immediately and give my credit card number to pay this debt. Instead, I called the doctor's office the next day. The receptionist told me my account was still open and had not been turned over to collections.